There is nothing more dangerous than a newbie and a vegie patch!
I planted 8 cherry tomato plants and 8 Roma tomato plants. That is a lot of tomatoes for 2 people. Luckily, tomatoes (unlike cucumbers) are very versatile. I have already made some salsa and intend to dry some of the Roma tomatoes. If I still have too many, I will bottle the rest.
Cherry tomatoes are a little more problematic. Even I wouldn’t peel cherry tomatoes! Well … I don’t think I would.:) The only option I could think of was to make tomato puree. But tomato puree is very cheap and it would be a lot of work.
A recipe for pickled grape tomatoes in my Balls Blue Book Guide to Preserving caught my eye. I was seriously considering it (and I still might try it) but I wasn’t really convinced. It did get me thinking, though … so off to Eat Your Books I went, limited my search to “preserving“, typed in “cherry tomatoes” and up popped Bottled Cherry Tomatoes with Mint and Garlic from March/April 2011 issue of Cuisine Magazine. Perfect!!
I haven’t tried these because the recipe says to leave them for 4-6 weeks – they sure look good. According to Cuisine Magazine, they can be used “… on antipasti platters, tossed through pasta dishes or smeared on hot garlic bruschetta”, all of which sound excellent to me.
The Blue Book suggests serving their pickled tomatoes in the following manner: drain the tomatoes then mix the pickling liquid with ½ cup of olive oil, and a ½ teaspoon each of rosemary, oregano and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Yummo!!
I made 5 x 500ml jars by making 1.5 times the recipe and I have quite a bit of pickling liquid left over. If you make the recipe, be prepared to have some fluid left over or, alternatively, have more than 1kg of cherry tomatoes. I suggest about 1.5kilograms.
Having spare pickling fluid is no big deal. More cherries tomatoes ripened today so I put them into a sterilised jar (along with some mint and garlic) and poured pickling fluid over them. Easy peasy.
The recipe is by Celia Harvey in Cuisine Magazine, Issue #45.
- 1kg firm cherry tomatoes (As I mentioned above, with this amount of cherry tomatoes, you will have left over pickling fluid.)
- mint leaves
- garlic cloves, peeled and roughly sliced
- 200g brown sugar
- 1 litre cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- Lightly prick each tomato a few times with a skewer. (My Balls Blue Book advises this helps prevent the skins from splitting.)
- Pack the tomatoes into sterilised jars, layering with the mint leaves and garlic cloves as you go. Pack the tomatoes as firmly as you can without damaging them. Make sure each jar is full.
- Place the sugar, cider vinegar, salt and peppercorns in a pan over low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and cool completely.
- Pour the pickling liquid over the tomatoes. Gently push the tomatoes down to prevent air pockets forming.
- Tap each jar gently with a spoon to raise any air bubbles.
- Seal the jars.
Store in a cupboard for 4-6 weeks before opening. Refrigerate after opening. Cuisine Magazine indicates the tomatoes will last a year.